Allegations of child abuse can have a major impact on your life. Some of these accusations are false or exaggerated. Others are based on misunderstandings of what happened. No matter the situation and the truth, you have the right to a strong defense of your case.

Whether you face a misdemeanor child cruelty charge, a felony child abuse claim, or another type of child abuse charge, you can seek protection from a skilled domestic violence attorney. These allegations should not be treated lightly even if you feel you have done nothing wrong.  These cases will not just “go away” once a prosecutor looks at it.  You should never fight this fight by yourself.  Defend your case with the help of a dedicated Charleston child abuse lawyer.

What Is the Definition of Child Abuse?

Under South Carolina Code § 63-7-20, the term child abuse or neglect refers to harmful actions taken by a parent, guardian or other person responsible for a child’s care. Common examples of child abuse or neglect include:

  • Inflicting mental or physical injury on the child or allowing it to happen
  • Committing a sexual offense against a child, allowing it to happen, or doing anything that creates a substantial risk of it occurring
  • Failing to give a child adequate clothing, shelter, food, education, health care, or supervision
  • Abandoning a child
  • Encouraging or allowing delinquent acts by a child
  • Performing female genital mutilation or creating a situation that allows this to happen
  • Subjecting a child to human trafficking

Any of these offenses would subject a defendant to harsh penalties. However, a skilled attorney in Charleston could help defend against any alleged instances of child abuse or neglect.

Penalties for Child Abuse in Charleston

The specific penalties associated with a child abuse charge will depend greatly on the individual offense the defendant faces. For example, the crime of cruelty to a child is a misdemeanor that carries a prison term of no more than thirty days.

However, a felony child abuse charge carries up to a ten-year prison sentence. This conviction also includes the loss of civil liberties like gun ownership, voting rights, and the ability to serve on a jury. For a full understanding of the potential penalties specific to their child case, a person should consult a knowledgeable lawyer in Charleston.

What Are some Other Child Abuse Penalties?

In addition to the criminal penalties associated with child neglect or abuse, the Department of Social Services may send a representative to fa family’s home to determine if anything else has occurred. If they believe there might still be a substantial danger or risk, they may take the child away.

The child could be put in protective custody for up to seventy-two hours. There may even be a hearing for emergency custody in some cases. This could result in the loss of a person’s children for an extended period, or even permanently.

This is a severe punishment for both the parent and the child, especially in cases where abuse never occurred. Our legal team understands this, and a compassionate Charleston attorney can fight to protect the rights of anyone accused of child abuse.

Present a Defense with a Charleston Child Abuse Attorney

Child abuse allegations must be taken very seriously. No matter what you are accused of you deserve dedicated representation at your side fighting to protect your rights. It is essential that you defend your case at all stages since the potential criminal penalties are steep.

Place your case and trust in the skills of a Charleston child abuse lawyer. Our hardworking team members in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Hanahan, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, Summerville, and North Charleston could assess the validity of evidence, strengthen your case, and fight to minimize the impact of an accusation on your life. Contact us today for help.